Welcome to the Amazing Thailand Adventure! Your first stop is Chiang Mai, gateway to Northern Thailand and one of the most interesting and welcoming cities in all of Asia. You’ll stay at the foot of the mountains and enjoy the unique ambiance of this cool city. Walk the charming streets through ancient ruins and cool markets. Check out the amazing view from Doi Suthep, hear local legends, and enjoy a Chiang Mai khantoke dinner and dance presentation.
Northern Thailand is an extremely diverse region, and the next few days will really showcase this. Heading north from Chiang Mai, the road will wind through lush mountains that are home to colorful Hill Tribe villages and terraced rice fields. Explore the waterfalls, hot springs, and Hill Tribe markets surrounding the Pai Valley. You’ll have the chance to stay in a real Lisu Hill Tribe village, home to some of our long-serving full-time staff. Take a bamboo raft ride through some of the longest caves in Asia and experience the tiny capital of Thailand’s most diverse province – Mae Hong Son. Here, you’ll take a long-tail boat upriver to a remote outpost that is home to the long-neck Karen people. Learn about their fascinating culture, hear stories about life in this remote village, and snap some memorable photos with your new friends. The adventure would not be complete without a ride atop Thailand’s most revered animal – the elephant! You’ll be amazed at the grace with which these majestic creatures glide along jungle trails and at how many greens they devour along the way.
The last stop of the journey is Bangkok, one of Asia’s most exciting and dynamic cities. Enjoy the buzz if this metropolitan city, a Thai feast, and a peek into the bustling pace of life here the day you arrive. The next morning you will visit the King’s Palace, see the world’s longest reclining Buddha, hop on a long-tail boat ride down the ‘River of Kings,’ and eat at a floating Thai restaurant. You’ll also get to see the ancient capital of the Kingdom, Ayutthaya. Marvel at the crumbling ruins as you wander through the majestic, ancient buildings and gain perspective on how Thailand has grown into modern times.
This exciting trip offers great insight into Thailand’s culture, food, and amazing scenery. If you would like to see the best that Thailand has to offer in one fantastic adventure, this is it!
This program connects easily with our other programs in Southeast Asia, China and India.
Relax and prepare for a world-class trip on Singapore Airlines. Prior to your departure, you will have received your pre-departure packet, which will include your Rustic T-shirts, airline tickets, and important contact information. Once you arrive at your international departure city, our Flight Liaison will help you get checked in to your international flight. Working with our Flight Liaison will be your Flight Leader, who will escort you all the way to Thailand! Our Flight Leaders are most often school teachers or good friends of our organization who happily fill this role for us each year. Once you’re checked in, feel free to relax and get acquainted with your new friends before boarding your flight to Thailand!
Today is lost as you cross the international dateline. Fear not – you will get this time back on your way home.
Sawat dee, and welcome to Thailand! Upon your arrival into one of the world’s most modern airports, you will immediately get the feeling that you have arrived in a place that is far different from the United States. Thailand is known as one of the most welcoming countries in the world and is affectionately nicknamed the ‘Land of Smiles.’
As you exit the arrival hall with your friendly Flight Leader, you will meet our team of staff. They have been anxiously awaiting your arrival and will lead you up to the fourth floor of the airport, where you’ll have a relatively quiet place to unwind and meet new friends who have arrived on different flights or are connecting from different programs.
We’ll have ample space for you to relax, as well as a nice assortment of food and refreshments for you to enjoy. This may be your first chance to have truly authentic pad-Thai (you’ll like it, trust us) or one of the other traditional dishes (including vegetarian options) we have to offer. You can also expect to try a few delicious Thai fruits that you’ve probably never seen before but that you may quickly grow to love.
You’ll immediately catch your flight up to Chiang Mai, where the Amazing Thailand Adventure will begin. First, you’ll check in to your hotel room (located at the base of Doi Suthep, the stunning mountain overlooking the city) and freshen up after your long journey. Then, you’ll head out for your first look around town at a local market. Our staff will introduce you to some local treats and teach you how to bargain for good prices, before sitting down for your first authentic Thai meal. After dinner, you’ll likely be ready for a good night’s sleep, so we’ll be sure to bring you back to the hotel to catch up on some rest. See you in the morning!
After breakfast, you will head up the big mountain on the edge of town to the most famous temple in the region – Wat Prathat Doi Suthep. Listen closely to the amazing story of how an elephant marked the spot for the temple to be built – then head up a winding set of stairs to check it out for yourself. After being blessed by a monk, ringing bells, and burning incense for good luck, you’ll take in the incredible view over the Chiang Mai Valley.
Once you’ve come down from the mountain, you will spend the afternoon relaxing and exploring your neighborhood. In the evening you will head to the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar for some of the best shopping in Thailand.
You will rise early today and set out into the stunning mountains of Northern Thailand. This is the most diverse region of the country, and the area you’ll pass through is home to over a dozen Hill Tribe minorities, each with their own distinct language, history, and culture. The driver will pull the van over often for refreshments and stunning views, and at each stop you’ll be reminded of the beauty of this incredible region of the world. Through lush rainforests and mountaintop markets, the drive will bring you to some of the most scenic and isolated parts of the country before finally reaching the Pai Valley. Here, you’ll stroll through an afternoon market where Hill Tribe minorities sell their goods and the whole community stops by to purchase the ingredients they will need for dinner. We’ll buy everything we need for supper as well, before heading up into the hills for our exciting home-stay night in a Lisu village home to some of our long-serving staff members. You’ll be sleeping the night in a bamboo long house complete with mosquito nets and everything you’ll need to stay comfortably in this beautiful place. Warm up around the campfire at night, share stories with your new friends, and take a good look around – you’re in the mountains of Thailand!
Today you’ll wake up to fresh mountain air and step outside to one of the nicest views in Northern Thailand. Take the morning to enjoy a simple breakfast and a walk around the village, where you can snap some great photographs and buy locally made souvenirs. After breakfast and a cup of local tea, we’ll hit the road again through the winding, mountain roads to Sop-pong where we’ll explore some of the longest caves in all of Asia. Hop onto a bamboo raft and get ready to literally ride your raft into the mountain, where you will begin your voyage deep into the caverns of Cave Lod.
Next stop on the journey will be Mae Hong Son, the capital of Thailand’s most diverse province. Stroll the city as the afternoon wanes exploring the many mountaintop temples and get a feel for this chilled out town before settling in for a hearty Thai feast. Tomorrow is a busy day, so we’ll be sure to get plenty of rest to prepare for the morning.
Rising early, today we’ll voyage into the hills to see one of the most rare and unique Hill Tribe peoples in all of Asia – the long-neck Karen. The journey will begin as we take a long-tail boat ride up the river toward the Burmese border, deep into the jungle. Once we arrive, we’ll spend some time chatting with our friends in this village who will offer you a special glimpse into what life is like here for these people. Rustic has been visiting this village for nearly a decade, and they are always excited to share stories with our students. After an enlightening visit and plenty of photos, we’ll hit the trail atop an elephant for a jungle trek back to civilization. In the late afternoon, we’ll catch a flight back to Chiang Mai and connect directly down to Bangkok, the last stop on the trip. The flight Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai is only 25 minutes over the mountains, so it will be two quick hops and you’ll be down in Bangkok and on the way to the hotel there before you know it. When you arrive, you’ll have a quick dinner and get some rest for a big day exploring Bangkok tomorrow.
After a delicious buffet breakfast at the hotel and a quick swim in the beautiful hotel pool, you’ll head into Bangkok and work your way towards the Chao Phraya River, or the ‘River of Kings.’ Here you’ll hop on a long-tail boat and go for a cruise upstream. Viewing Bangkok from the river – away from the busy streets and with a cool breeze on your face – is truly the best way to see it. After taking you past some of the city’s most famous sights, the boat will pull up at a floating restaurant, where you’ll grab some lunch.
After lunch, you’ll continue up river to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Gaew, the King’s most official residence and the home of the famed Emerald Buddha. You will have some time to wander the beautiful grounds here before heading upstream again – this time to Wat Pho, another of Bangkok’s most famous temples and home of the ‘Reclining Buddha,’ the largest such Buddha in the world. With your new souvenirs, photos, and budding friendships in tow, you’ll return to the hotel feeling like you’ve become a part of this bustling city. Catch an evening swim talking about all that you’ve seen on this memorable trip, and enjoy your final evening with your new friends.
Today, you’ll check out early and head up to see the ruins of the ancient royal city of Ayutthaya. Here you will walk where ancient kings once did and explore some of the oldest and most magnificent ruins Thailand has to offer. A deep sense of history presides over these ruins, and their quiet beauty and sheer scale are sure to impress you. You will revel in the stark contrast that these serene surroundings offer to the modern bustle that enveloped you in Bangkok just yesterday. From here, you will connect directly to the Bangkok airport and transfer to your next adventure or meet up with the group flight home. Whatever is next for you, we hope that you always cherish the warm memories of Thailand you have made this week. Safe travels and chock dee!
Students on our Escorted Group flights will arrive home on Friday. Have a great rest of the summer, and we’ll see you next year!
Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity. The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.
Many students over-pack and sometimes have to pay for overweight bags on domestic flights. The weight limit is 15 kilograms (33 pounds). You’ll have frequent access to laundry on this program, so you won’t need that many clothes. We won’t tell on you if you wear the same t-shirt twice!
A small backpack works best.
A duffel bag, suitcase, or large backpack. Wheeled suitcases are fun, but may not roll so well in rice paddies. All items listed with “Plastic Bag” should be packed inside a plastic bag in case bottles
$150-$300 The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar has an amazing variety of crafts, clothing, and unbelievable miscellaneous trinkets and shopping there is a real treat, so budget more if you’re a big time shopper and less if you’re a go light, less is more, bring home only the memories kind of traveler.
This is our signature touring program in Thailand, designed to give students the chance to experience all of the “must see’s” of Thailand while in country. Most of our students come to Thailand to delve into the many service projects across the country, and we have designed Amazing Thailand as an easy one-week add-on to allow students to have a good look around while in this part of the world. In just a short week, students can expect to see it all, from ancient temples and lush rainforests, to cosmopolitan Bangkok and remote Hill Tribe villages. Students will stay in nice hotels, home stay in simple villages, ride an elephant, and shop at eclectic markets. In short, this is an action-packed week of the best in Thailand!
Students like the diverse highlights featured on this program. Students who combine Amazing Thailand with Elephants really like spending the two weeks with the same group.
We’ll stay at hotels, guest houses, and Rustic Pathways base houses. Students should expect to see the full spectrum of accommodations on this trip, ranging from basic home stays in remote villages (where there are no western toilets or hot showers!), to nice hotels with beautiful swimming pools and all the amenities you could hope for. We also stay at a couple of simple guest houses owned by our friends along the way.
Students will have the chance to wash their clothes at least once during the trip.
There are mosquitoes. They’re usually not too bad, but you will want to have a long sleeve shirt and long pants in the evenings. Students are also advised to bring a small bottle of insect repellent containing DEET at least 15%-20% DEET.
There will be ample opportunities to shop! Our staff will take you through some of the finest stalls, malls, and markets of Thailand. You’ll see all kinds of souvenirs and fun stuff to buy, so budget accordingly. Prices in Asia are on average significantly cheaper than in the West, but be wary that a lot of great deals can add up. Markets and local crafts are huge part of Thai culture and a great way to support the local community. Here are some approximate, sample prices (listed in US dollars) that should help you prepare a budget: hand-woven scarf = $3; hand-woven shoulder bag = $6; T-shirt = $6; small wood carving = $5; soccer ball = $10
It’s hot, and humid in the day and a little cooler in the mountains at night. Daily downpours are short and give way to sunny skies. Be prepared for heat and dampness. Synthetic fiber clothes are great because they dry fast much faster than cotton can.
Phones are always available on an emergency basis. Students will be able to use phones and internet in their free time almost every day, although we encourage our students to use the internet only for a limited time, and only for corresponding with their family and friends.
Each trip is staffed by a combination of western (American) and Thai leaders, and in most cases each team will include a nationally licensed guide, a western man and a western woman. We never have fewer than one staff member for every five students.
We’ll eat a wide variety of Thai and ethnic food, as well as a good deal of Western food. Thailand is famous for its food, and this trip will awaken your tastes to flavors you didn’t even know existed. Almost all dietary concerns can be accommodated, but please alert us of any relevant restrictions beforehand just to make sure. Vegetarians Welcome!
We will be drinking all bottled water. Bottled water is safe and readily available.
Every city we visit has a hospital with reliable medical care that caters to hundreds of Westerners every year. For the short time we will be in more rural areas farther from top-quality medical care, our staff will have a clear plan and route to the nearest healthcare depending on the severity of the situation
Because safety is our number one priority, all of our programs have staff that is certified with First Aid and CPR training. Many of our guides are also qualified Wilderness First Responders, EMTs, Wilderness EMTs, or Life Guards.
Rustic Pathways does not make recommendations regarding immunizations. You will need to visit your local travel clinic and discuss your specific itinerary with a physician so that they can make medical recommendations for you. For general information about travel around the world, please see the Center for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov
All flights departing from and returning to the United States will have flight leaders. In the event a student is connecting from another country, they may or may not have a flight leader. In such instances, we generally have coordinated with the airlines to escort the students from check-in through customs, and delivered to a verified Rustic Pathways staff member.
All of our programs within Asia connect seamlessly. All trips begin and end on Thursday, thus allowing for easy connectivity and convenience.
Thailand is the only country in SE Asia not to be colonized by a European power, just one factor that helps Thailand maintain its unique, cultural charm.
Contact Us: For more information about The Amazing Thailand Adventure you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Amazing Thailand Adventure combines well with the following programs.
Ages: 14 to 18 years old
Length: 11 days from the USA
Cost: $1,495 + $380 Internal Airfare
International airfare is not included in the above cost. Please check our Travel Desk for airfare pricing and specifics.
|Departs Tue||Returns Fri||Availability|
|11 Jun||21 Jun||Limited|
|18 Jun||28 Jun||Very Limited|
|25 Jun||5 Jul||Very Limited|
|2 Jul||12 Jul||Very Limited|
|9 Jul||19 Jul||Sold Out|
|16 Jul||26 Jul||Very Limited|
|23 Jul||2 Aug||Limited|
|30 Jul||9 Aug||Very Limited|
|6 Aug||16 Aug||Very Limited|
Dates shown are inclusive of travel time from the United States. Most Rustic Pathways trips interconnect, allowing you to design your own perfect summer program.Apply Now